Bixby Bridge Big Sur, CA The wild, breathtaking scenery of Big Sur has inspired some of the world's most famous artists, photographers, writers and musicians. Dramatic crashing waves, cliffs and redwood forests provide a cinematic backdrop for an eclectic population. The state and federal park systems oversee much of unincorporated area, which invites hiking, camping and exploring a sprawling and unspoiled wilderness. Rustic resorts, restaurants and small art galleries dot the coast highway that winds through the community.

2010 Population: 1,526
2010 median South Coast home price: $2.1 million

Top Big Sur Attractions
1. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
This jewel of the state park system stretches from 3,000-foot mountain ridges to underwater canyons, taking in majestic redwoods, dense chaparral and rocky seaside cliffs along the way. Oh, and, did we mention the 80-foot-long McWay Falls, tumbling down from granite cliffs into the cove below? FULL STORY

2. Pfeiffer Beach
Pfeiffer Beach is a treasure, so maybe it s fitting that it takes a bit of a hunt to find it the first time. First off, don t confuse it with the other Pfeiffers Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, close but separate entities. FULL STORY

3. The View from Nepenthe Restaurant
"In summer, when the fog rolls in, one can look down upon a sea of clouds floating listlessly above the ocean; they have the appearance, at times, of huge iridescent soap bubbles, over which, now and then, may be seen a double rainbow." FULL STORY

4. Highway 1
Though the views from Highway 1 are stunning, this is not a drive-by. Plan to stop. Often.
Where: Highway 1, south of Carmel

5. A walk on the beach
Whether you walk on Pfieffer, Molera, Sand Dollar, Jade Cove or anywhere else, the sound of the surf, the refreshing breeze, and the view to the horizon. Tom Birmingham, local artist

6. Sunset
Just before sunset, in the Big Sur Valley, the sun comes up the valley lower than the trees and lights them from below. The shimmering glow is transcendent. Tom Birmingham, local artist.

7. Micro-Climates
Don t like the weather? Hike up or down the hill a bit and you can cool off in the fog or warm yourself in the blazing sun. Dave Egbert, local gardener

Dining in Big Sur

Big Sur Bakery
47540 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-0520

Big Sur Roadhouse
Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-2264

48510 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920

Big Sur
Some may argue that it's inappropriate to celebrate right now in Big Sur, an area still ravaged physically and emotionally following last month's devastating Pfeiffer Fire. But the organizers of the second annual Big Sur Foragers Festival (Jan. 17-19) see things differently.   READ MORE
Seventy-four-year-old Aubert de Villaine has aged as gracefully as his vineyard, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (or DRC), arguably the most celebrated and distinguished wine estate in all of France. Over the last four decades, de Villaine has become the oracle of Burgundy.   READ MORE
Known for its hippie camping and concert tribal gatherings such as The HipNic and Woodsist festivals, FolkYEAH! Presents is co-hosting the inaugural Big Sur Jamboree with San Francisco/Venice Beach's Mollusk Surf Shop this Friday and Saturday.   READ MORE
Bird lovers are flocking to the Central Coast for the 9th annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival. The four-day event begans Thursday and runs through Sunday.   READ MORE
The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival has only five years under its slack belt, but is quite possibly the longest festival in the world ... at least in terms of geography. From the Gateway to Big Sur kickoff event held at Hyatt Carmel Highlands Thursday night (Nov.   READ MORE
Lodging in Big Sur

Ventana Inn and Spa
Highway One
Big Sur, CA 93920a
Check Rates & Availability

Carmel Mission Inn
3665 Rio Rd
Carmel, CA 93923
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Comfort Inn Carmel By The Sea
Ocean Ave & Torres St
Carmel, CA 93921
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